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AB 1697 – Permits The Release Of Medical Information To Be Authorized Electronically
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act provides that a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form. However, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act is not applicable to an authorization for the release of medical information by a provider of health care, health care service plan, pharmaceutical company, or contractor or an authorization for the release of genetic test results by a health care service plan under the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA).
Assembly Bill 1697 (AB 1697) amends the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act to make it applicable to authorizations for the release of medical information by a provider of health care, health care service plan, pharmaceutical company, or contractor and to authorizations for the release of genetic test results by a health care service plan under the CMIA.
The CMIA requires that the authorization for release of medical information by providers and employers meet certain requirements, including a specific end date, to be valid. AB 1697 amends the CMIA so that in lieu of a specific end date, the authorization can state an expiration date or event limiting the duration of the authorization to one year or less. In certain instances, as specified, the authorization may extend beyond a year.
AB 1697 requires providers and employers to provide the individual with a copy of the signed authorization, and instructions on how to access additional copies or a digital version of the signed authorization for that authorization to be valid.
AB 1697 also incorporates the changes made by Assembly Bill 254, which expands the definition of “medical information” to include information about a consumer’s reproductive health, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy outcome, plans to conceive, or type of sexual activity collected by a reproductive or sexual health digital service, including a mobile-based application or internet website.
(AB 1697 amends Sections 56.05, 56.11, 56.17, 56.21, and 1633.3 of the Civil Code.)